「過ちを犯しながら、それを改めないことをこそ、真の過ちという。」 (Ayamachi o Okashi Nagara, Sore o Aratamenai Koto o Koso, Shin no Ayamachi Toiu.)
“If You Make a Mistake and Do Not Correct It, This Is Called a Mistake.”
Now what did I tell ya? Kiyotaka and Suzune succumbing to the smile of a devil and her hefty tracts of land? Yeah, given the minds at work you knew that would only turn out one way. Though you cannot fault Kikyou for trying, even if she deserves the thrashing received given her utter lack of planning. Even the most one-dimensional of antagonists know proper victory requires a suitable degree of preparation.
While I’m on record for not particularly liking how the first half of this season went, episodes like this reinforce just what makes Youjitsu so much fun to watch at times. Kikyou’s defeat at the hands of Kiyotaka (and a little Suzune) scheming for example was going to happen given the stakes of the bet from last episode, but the manner of it was wholly up in the air. How does the man of deadpans break Miss Duplicity and secure the survival of Class D’s smartest girl? No damn idea – but here’s plenty of teasers and suspenseful buildup to get you thinking on it. The slower, more targeted nature of this arc and the more restricted limits of its involved test – i.e. no excessively complex rules, just simple pick a class and answer questions – really helped ram this home because it gave time to have its intricacies felt and for the personalities of those involved to properly shine through. Youjitsu may be more skin deep than it thinks at times, but when its pieces align it certainly turns into a good bit of theatre.
Kikyou of course isn’t the only theatre at play – cannot forget Kakeru is also part of this picture and is now set to finally face off against Kiyotaka in the final showdown. Well, the first of what’s likely to be many final showdowns (heh). While the deliberate targeting of Kei isn’t likely to play out how Kakeru expects (this is Kiyotaka we’re talking about), the interesting bit is how the upcoming developments shift Kikyotaka’s thinking. The kid has previously learned to rely on others for the sake of a common goal, can he go further and engage in action for the sake of altruism over actual gain? And could be potentially start seeing others as more than mere pawns (as a couple of girls would most definitely like)? Questions which will certainly get answered over the upcoming weeks, and also questions likely to see some very explosive fireworks as they’re figured out.
After all, Kakeru isn’t what you’d call the most subtle of guys, and we all know Kiyotaka is capable of more than simply acting behind the scenes.